Advertisement

Every Single Thought We Had While Listening to Beyoncé’s New Album Cowboy Carter

James Devaney

Yee—I can't emphasize this enough—haw.

On Friday, Beyoncé released Cowboy Carter, her latest album. The second in what she has promised to be a trio of albums starting with 2022's Renaissance, Cowboy Carter, the 27 tracks make up a dizzying, genre-bending, and eclectic work that draws from history, country, and rock for its unique sound.

To mark this cultural moment, members of the Glamour staff gathered on the day of the album's release to listen to it together for the first time, and share our impressions as we went along. Here are our thoughts, completely unfiltered, about every single track.

Track 1: “American Requiem”

“The harmony!” —Jazmin Gathers, social media manager

“Sounds like Buffalo Springfield.” —Sam Reed, senior trending news and entertainment editor

“Is it weird I think it's giving Beatles? This is really giving me Beatles late-’60s vibes.” —Chantal Waldholz, senior director, audience development

“Do you think she went on a George Harrison–esque journey with psychedelics? I hope so.” —SR

“Okay, I'm in love with this. Reminds me of ‘Cardinals’ by Kacey Musgraves with that zombies-like guitar. Bring back the '60s!” —SR

“Sasha Fierce Lonely Hearts Club Band.” —Danielle Sinay, associate beauty editor

Track 2: “Blackbird”(Beatles Cover)

“Some important context for ‘Blackbird’: Paul McCartney wrote it in the ’60s in support of the Civil Rights Movement. ‘I was sitting around with my acoustic guitar and I’d heard about the civil rights troubles that were happening in the ’60s in Alabama, Mississippi, Little Rock in particular,’ McCartney told GQ. ‘I just thought it would be really good if I could write something that if it ever reached any of the people going through those problems, it might give them a little bit of hope. So, I wrote ‘Blackbird.’” —Anna Moeslein, deputy editor

“Okay, but now I want to know...when are we getting a Bey/Paul/Ringo performance.” —SR

“Why am I on the verge of tears.” —DS

“Beyoncé covering ‘Blackbird’ is really going to feed the modern dance community for years to come.” —Anastasia Sanger, senior manager, social video development

“Does anyone else think of a line from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants where Lena sneaks out of her room to meet up with Kostos and she writes that Lena was thinking of the lyrics ‘You were only waiting for this moment to be free,’ or are you normal?” —SR

“I think we're all going to need to take a half day after this.” —CW

Track 3: “16 Carriages”

“The lyrics in this song.” —Monique Wilson, editorial assistant

“She's always been such a good lyricist, but this album so far is next level.” —CW

“Very upsetting to be listening to this in an office instead of on a road trip through the desert.” —AS

Track 4: “Protector”

“Rumiiiii.” —SR

"New father-daughter dance ballad just dropped. Even though I know one day you’re gonna shine on your own / I will be your projector.” —DS

“As a new mom I was not emotionally prepared for ‘Protector’ today.” —AM

“The projector/protector rhyme would be cheap if it was anyone else.” —AS

Track 5: “My Rose”

“I like 'My Rose a lot.” —MW

Track 6: “Smoke Hour” (feat. Willie Nelson)

“If Willie tells me to smoke during work hours, do I listen.” —SR

“I like to imagine that Beyoncé and Willie had a good weed sesh.” —CW

Track 7: “Texas Hold ’Em”

“I somehow like ‘Texas Hold ’Em now’ MUCH more in the context of the album at large. I cried now I'm ready to dance” —DS

“The Beyoncé way.” —CW

“Take me to the rodeo please.” —MW

Googles cowboy hats for pets.” —DS

“I loathed square dancing during elementary school, but if I were there now and they used this song for it, I'd give it my all.” —CW

Track 8: “Bodyguard”

“Vibe shift!” —DS

“So nice of Bey to dedicate a song to Julius.” —Ariana Yaptango, senior beauty editor

“Of course there’s already a rumor that Taylor Swift did the backing vocals for ‘Bodyguard.’” —AM

“Beyoncé doesn’t drop albums she drops SOUNDTRACKS. Like wedding culture will never be the same.” —DS

“‘Bodyguard’ is also giving me Stevie Nicks.” —AS

“Vibey AF.” —SR

“‘Bodyguard’ needs to be her next single. Suuuuuch a good summer track.” —CW

Track 9: “Dolly P” (feat. Dolly Parton)

“Oh LOL Dolly really did mention the ‘hussy with the good hair.’” —DS

“I think I could create a whole college syllabus around Dolly and her impact. She is a LEGEND.” —AM

“Oops, I accidentally had ‘Dolly P’ looping on repeat and was like…this is an artistic choice!” —DS

Track 10: “Jolene” (Dolly Parton Cover)

“Ooh she changed up the lyrics. They're more savage lmao.” —SR

“The greatest mystery of our time who is Becky With the Good Hair.” —AY

“The hussy with the good hair! Full circle.” —AM

“Let the conspiracy theories START.” —CW

Track 11: “Daughter”

“UMMMM? Beyoncé CAN SING OPERA?????” —AS

“‘This marijuana smoke smell in my hair’: confirmation of Willie Nelson smoke sesh? Lol.” —DS

Track 12: “Spaghettii”

“The inclusion of Shaboozey: He’s known for bridging hip hop and country.” —AM

“She's basically hitting EVERY genre and showing she can do it all. Actually dismantling the definition of genre.” —CW

“This album really has a song for your sun, moon, rising, Mars, Mercury, Mars, Chiron…” —DS

“She has eyes on us.” —DS

“Okay 'no sauce' is hitting the right spot in my brain.” —SR

Track 13: “Alligator Tears”

“I need to know who this is about.” —CW

“I love this one.” —JG

Track 14: “Smoke Hour II” (feat. Willie Nelson)

“I just want to note that Willie Nelson is 90 years old!” —AS

Track 15: “Just for Fun” (feat. Willie Jones)

“‘I just need to get through this’—TY for the new anxiety attack anthem queen.” —AS

“No but these harmonies are insane.” —JG

Track 16: “II Most Wanted” (feat. Miley Cyrus)

“Miley popping on for the first time gave me chills. We better get a ‘Telephone’ level music video out of this.” —AS

“MILELLEKEEYYYYYYYYY. Sorry I lost control of myself there.” —DS

“Sobbing thinking of riding shotgun in my bestie's car in high school.” —AS

“Down the 405!!!  (But also what time? 4 am? How was there no traffic?)” —DS

“I feel so blessed to live in this timeline.” —AS

“This might be my fave thus far. But I’m a sucker for collabs—‘Let the Light In’ with Father John Misty was also my fav off Lana’s most recent album.” —DS, known Lanita

“This is my favorite. It feels like it's about time passing by, or doing too things early in life, but having someone with you making all the difference whether its a partner or a friend (in my mind it’s giving best-friend anthem).” —Jenifer Calle, senior commerce editor

Track 17: “Levii’s Jeans” (feat. Post Malone)

“No I'm sorry I hate Post Malone on this…This is the worst part of the album.” —AS

“Yeah so far this is the weakest song on the album for me.” —CW

“Okay this is a vibe shift.” -DS

“Ew I can't I'm sorry Post gives me the ick. This song is gonna be in a terrible rom-com.” —AS

“Post's part sounds like the ‘back seat of your rover’ band? 'Baby pull me closer in the back seat of your rover' whatever they’re called. [Editor’s note: That would be The Chainsmokers].” —DS

“IDK this song is giving me Y2K vibes for some reason.” —JG

“I liked it. 😩😬” —Stephanie McNeal, senior editor

Track 18: “Flamenco”

“I think we are all recovering from the Post Malone jump scare.” —DS

Track 19: “The Linda Martell Show” (feat. Linda Martell)

“As usual Beyoncé is so strategic and genius in her references. For those who don’t know Linda was a trailblazer for Black female country artists.” —AM

“That’s how you know she’s a Virgo. She strategizes like no other.” —DS

“EVERYTHING is intentional. She’s shown us that time and time again through her career.” —AM

Track 20: “Ya Ya”

“My husband just walked in on me dancing to this.” —DS

“Referencing ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’ and ‘Good Vibrations’—along with her cover of ‘Blackbird,’ Beyoncé is really bringing the '60s back.” —AS

“‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ sample—yee-fucking-haw.” —SR

“This is also giving me Tina Turner.” —JG

“I think my dad will actually like this album.” —SR

“I texted my dad to listen!!! That's so funny.” —CW

Cowboy Carter is for girls with That Dad.” —SR

“I’m scared to tell my dad to listen. I feel like he’ll implode. And also, keep buying larger and larger cowboy hats (it’s already an issue).” —DS

Track 21: “Oh Louisiana”

“All the ’60s nods throughout has to be intentional nod to Civil Rights Movement à la ‘Blackbird’’s early inclusion, Linda was the first Black woman to play the Grand Old Opry in 1969….” —AM

“This album is also very funny. Beyoncé is a comedian.” —AY

“She sounds like she's having so much fun.” —MW

Track 22: “Desert Eagle”

“Bassline is giving Thundercat.” —AS

“It’s extremely Beatles again.” —DS

“RIP John Lennon you would've loved Cowboy Carter.” —AS

Track 23: “Riiverdance”

“The most Renaissance-y beat of the album so far.” —AS

“I’m so sorry but…idk why…I just keep hearing ‘Grind With Me’ because of the bass.” —DS

“Again I am just here to say… these harmonies…I have not recovered.” —JG

“This album is such a rich text of historical Easter eggs; my inner librarian is enjoying digging through them all.” —AM

“I think this might be her strongest album lyrically too? Or maybe riiiight after Lemonade.” —CW

“I can smell Album of the Year. This is the one.” —AY

Track 24: “II Hands II Heaven”

“She mentions Arizona in this song and I just want to know what a day in Arizona looks like for Bey and Jay.” —SR

“Also lots of references specifically to sitting in the front seat—feet on the dashboard, riding shotgun. Love that she’s a Passenger Princess but when’s the last time she realistically sat in front.” —DS

“Does Beyoncé still have a driver's license?” —AM

Track 25: “Tyrant” (feat. Dolly Parton)

“This has me boppin’.” —DS

“Ooo this might be top five.” —JG

“Another summer bop for sure.” —CW

Track 26: “Sweet Honey Buckin” (feat. Shaboozey)

“There's a Patsy Cline reference/sample. Patsy also a country genre disrupter, one of the first country music artists to cross over into pop music.” —AS

“This is peak ‘walking around pretending like you’re in a movie’ music.” —DS

“Sorry to be the one to say this but this album could've used an edit.” —SR

“'Look at that horse' is sending me.” —DS

“There are like three different genres in this one song.” —CW

Track 27: “Amen”

“More Virgo planning —the first song ends with her saying ‘Amen,’ and the album ends with a song called ‘Amen.’” —AS

Okay, everyone, so how do you feel?

“I'm gonna go take a half day now to recover.” —CW

“What a time.” —JG

“Going to listen again; it’s my new soundtrack of summer.” —DS

“I'm still a Renaissance girl but songs from this will definitely be playing all summer for me. The way this album will be blasting in Washington Square Park on 4/20….” —AS

“Once again, Beyoncé made listening to a new album an emotional experience. (Seriously, I remember exactly where I was when I first listened to Beyoncé, Lemonade, Renaissance). And if you would have told young me—who’s first CD purchase was Dangerously in Love—that I would fall in love with a country album by her, she would not have believed you, but here I am basically in tears from this album (lol). She proves music can transcend genres, that you can fine-tune your art later in life, that there’s so many levels to the history of country music, and to just have fun.” —JC

“This is one of her strongest albums lyrically. I am amazed how she incorporated several different genres in a song. Just further cementing herself as one of the greatest artists of all time. I now have to recover. Also, Jay Z is the luckiest man in the world and I hope he knows that!” —CW

“Too bad my cowboy boots always make me throw my back out.” —DS


Originally Appeared on Glamour